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Parents' Guide to Bicycle Safety

Rochelle Park Police Chief Robert Flannelly offers the following guidelines for parents:
For maximum bicycle safety, bicycles should be equipped with:
  • Warning bell and horn
  • Chain guard
  • Coaster brake
  • Reflective devices on front, rear, and side pedals
  • Front light (white)
  • Rear light (red)
  • Handle grips
  • Approved bicycle helmets
  • Reflective clothing
Ability in basic maneuvers, such as starting, stopping, turning, signaling, going up and down hills, and braking should be demonstrated by young riders in a safe area before being allowed on public streets. Children under seven years of age need close supervision, even when they are permitted to ride in quiet neighborhoods.
Safety training should be emphasized. Accident records for bicycle/motor vehicle collisions show that nearly 1,000 fatalities and 70,000 disabling injuries occur annually. Ride and walk with your child until you are certain that he/she is capable of riding on lightly-traveled roads.
The following points should be stressed:
  • Stop and check for traffic before entering roadway
  • Ride with (not against) traffic
  • Keep to the right side of traffic
  • Be cautious around parked cars, especially for doors being opened unexpectedly
  • Use hand signals for any movement that will be made within traffic
  • Never carry a passenger on a bicycle
Riding a bicycle can be dangerous if too many risks are taken. Parents should continue to observe their childís bicycling habits and, if necessary, restrict cycling. Establish limits or designate specific areas where your child is permitted to ride. A parentís continued supervision is always necessary.

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